Israel finds fourth Hezbollah tunnel near Lebanese border, stuffs it with explosives
It’s the fourth such tunnel to be found since the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced Operation Northern Shield, the goal of which is to find and destroy Hezbollah tunnels, earlier this month.
Israeli authorities have examined the tunnel to learn more about its route, and it has since been packed with explosives ahead of its neutralization.
“The route, just like the other routes [tunnels], is booby-trapped by the IDF and anyone who enters it on the Lebanese side endangers his life,” the IDF said in a tweet.
“Imagine terrorists digging an attack tunnel like this towards your home. Hacking away inch by inch underground in order to kill you and your family,” the IDF said in another tweet accompanied by a video showing the interior of the tunnel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the tunnel was discovered Sunday morning.
“Our operation to deprive Hezbollah of the tunnels is advancing according to plan and will continue until he has achieved all its objectives,” Netanyahu said in a tweet in Hebrew.
Hezbollah, which has been accused of using tunnels to infiltrate Israel since the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, is yet to comment.
WATCH: Israel begins operation to expose Hezbollah tunnels
The Israeli tunnel-destruction operation has heightened tensions along the border, where Lebanese soldiers have visibly been on high alert and United Nations peacekeepers have been stationed.
The UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon has confirmed the presence of the tunnels and says it’s working with both Israel and Lebanon to address the situation in like with UN regulations.
Lebanese prime minister-designate Saad Hariri said the Lebanese army was awaiting a full report from the UN on the matter.
Earlier this month, Hezbollah’s second-in-command claimed that the Shiite militant group’s missiles are capable of striking anywhere in Israel.
Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem told Iranian Arabic-language newspaper al-Vefagh that Hezbollah was not looking to start a war with Israel but would respond to any Israeli aggression with force
Israel meanwhile has urged the international community to impose new sanctions on Hezbollah, a central player in Israel’s proxy conflict with Iran.
— With files from the Associated Press
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